It’s often interesting to see just how much money some highly successful individuals make per year. Many times, our attention in this realm gets focused on what certain celebrities get paid to entertain us with their special talents. It’s safe to say that these people fall into that proverbial “Top 1%” group on high earners.
Recent news in the sports world got me thinking about this a little bit further. Albert Pujols, a tremendous baseball player who has been one of the most productive hitters of the last decade, just signed a deal that made his the highest paid first baseman in the game. The deal jolted fans and media everywhere in it’s totality, as it was a 10 year contract for $254 million dollars (source: ESPN)
Yep, 10 years, $254 million. On average, we’re talking about a $25.4 million annual salary.
Of course, that figure itself gets my attention. It’s quite an impressive haul. In addition, however, I also find it interesting how some people have reacted to that contract as well as the player’s decision to sign the contract.
First of all, I had a converstaion about this with someone who shook her head at how much these “dumb baseball players” (her words) are making. I do agree that it seems like a huge amount of money, that’s hard to deny. However, I also wonder why we have to begrudge these guys for making this money? I mean, most of us do work hard and would like to have that type of income, but it’s a matter of supply and demand. Two people could be equally determined and hard working, yet one can make a salary that’s astronomical to the other person because of the nature of the work.
Might as well accept the reality that some people will make tons more money for the same effort, and that they also deserve to make tons more. They’re providing a service that’s more in demand. Sometimes we simply don’t have the ability to do that kind of work (baseball players for example), but sometimes we do (owning a small business). Better to accept reality, find different ways to better ourselves, and stop complaining about how certain others are making a lot of money. It’s not like the top 1% are all bad, you know:)
The other thing about the Pujols signing that I found interesting is that some folks seem to have the notion that he did something somewhat dishonorable by walking away from his team of many years, the St. Louis Cardinals, in order to make more money elsewhere – in this case, with the Los Angeles Angels. Isn’t money a good enough reason to walk away? What’s wrong with that?
As alluded to earlier, reports indicate that the contract he got from Los Angeles was for 10 years and $254 million. Again, that’s an average of $25.4 million annualy. Reportedly, from what I’ve seen in the wake of this signing, people are saying that he got an offer from St. Louis (his old team) to resign with them for 9 years and about $200 million. That comes out to $22.22 million per season to return back to his existing team, which is also a great offer it would seem!
It seems like some people have gotten a bit dramatic, thinking that this is an example of how there’s no loyalty anymore, how could he turn his back on all his fans just for money, etc. Come on, let’s get real here.
When you take the difference in the 2 salary offers, it’s a $3.2 million difference per year. Also keep in mind that the L.A. offer was for an extra year, but if you ignore that aspect, the simple $3.2 million annual difference is pretty significant. Multiplying over 9 years, it clearly adds up.
Let’s break it down to just the one year difference of $3.2 million. If you took that amount, an divided it up into a weekly difference, it comes out to over $61,000 extra per week. Remember, we’re just talking about an incrmental figure here, the difference between the 2 salary offers. When you break it out by day, it’s about $2,000 per day more. By hour – waking or asleep – we’re talking about over $80 more. So even while sound asleep, he would get $80 per hour more to sign with LA than St. Louis, all things considered and on average.
See where I’m going with this? I think that it’s ludicrous to blame somebody for signing a contract that will pay him this much more money! Why in the world should he turn this money down, just to make his loyal fans of the last 10 years happy? Why should he choose their happiness over that much extra money? It’s just not reasonable to expect someone to do that. If you’re the athlete in this case, should you turn away an extra $3.2 million per year just so all the fans who have your jersey at home, or have watched many of your games on TV, collected your baseball cards, etc – could be happy instead?
I say good for him for taking more money for himself, and not bypassing that staggering amount, just so fans would be happy. Money isn’t the most important thing, as I say very often here, but sometimes we actually do have to make the occasional big decision based on money. I mean, would you rather make more money, or less money but win “Employee of the Month”?
Glad to see that Albert Pujols made a good choice, and hopefully some of his longtime fans can resist critiquing that presumed member of the 1% who’s just simply trying to make a living. As a member of the 99%, I’m cool with his move!